Has a hard time getting off the potty

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Lulu, Feb 4, 2008.

  1. Lulu

    Lulu New Member

    Well, I've found that one of N's triggers for extreme defiance potentially lasting hours (until we can get the meltdown out of his system), is...making him get off the potty and get back to his day. Now THAT's a little embarrassing to share with people outside of this forum.

    So, he's always been one to sit for many minutes and talk to himself, sing, play (with toilet paper, if there's not anything else in there to play with). It's kind of peeved husband and me from time to time. But tonight was one of those times when forcing him off the potty (and it wasn't even "forcing") turned him into the smiling devil. Do you know the one I'm talking about? The smile and the evil, "No, I will not."

    He had been sitting a good twenty minutes, all done with the pooping and the peeing, but just sitting on the toilet and playing with a toy motorcycle. And it was time to get ready for bed and he knew it. So I THOUGHT I was being proactive and I took the timer in and told him calmly that I was setting it for 15 minutes. He could play, do whatever, for 15 minutes and then when it rang, it'd be time to get ready for bed. "DON'T START IT DON'T START IT DON'T START IT!!!" I said, okay, I'll wait until you get your pants up. Still kept playing. So, I started it to show him I wouldn't wait any longer. It was like lightning a slow fuse, unfortunately. He threw the step stool out into the hall, jumped off the potty with-o any underpants, and when I asked him to finish his bathroom business, I got the evil smiling guy.

    He went upstairs without any underpants on and started harrassing little sister and fighting over the computer. I unplugged the computer and put it away. He crawled into his sleeping bag and cried for about fifteen minutes over that. Of course, the timer went off. Cried more. I convinced him to go put his underpants on, but there was no way I was going to force him to flush and wash--it would've been a knock-down/drag-out. He came into little sister's room as I was reading her some poems and leaned on us very annoyingly, wouldn't leave the room, then in his room finally after Daddy had stern words with him, cried and wailed and eventually screamed for quite a bit because the lights had to be turned out when he wouldn't put his pajamas on. Cried another good twenty minutes, and then calmed down, drank some water, and chatted with Daddy.

    husband did NOT LOSE HIS COOL TONIGHT. I am SOOOOO proud of him.

    Anyway, I just wanted to a) vent, and b) see if there was a point at which I could've cut this off at the pass. I had no idea just setting the timer (which seemed like a good idea) while he was still on the potty, would be the beginning of the end. It's not like it was even ever a basket B or basket C choice! And, c) how common is it for kids like ours to be able to transition OUT OF POTTY TIME??? Sometimes he takes too long at school and they have commented on it. Sigh.

    Thanks for listening.
  2. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    I can't say as I've ever heard this particular problem before, but hey, I'm flexible. :peaceful:

    I think he's discovered the secret: the bathroom makes a really good place for hiding out and chillin', away from the demands of rest of the world. When I had 3 kids 5 and under I used to head in there around 4pm every day just to get away from it all.

    I'm just venturing a guess here but given everything you've described about your little darlin', I'm kind of wondering if he's just having a good time--enjoying life and the things around him--and in no particular rush.... but and all the grown-ups have places for him to go, things for him to do, and people he has to see. Big mean grownups are always cramping his style.

    Most of the time I'd just let this go, but I know there are times like bedtime and leaving the house where you don't have a choice.

    Where I see that you could have adjusted in your plan was to go at the timer a bit differently. Instead of delivering the timer and announcing how long he had to play, try involving him in the decision of how long and even in setting the time. Bring in a different timer next time so seeing the one that caused this ruckus doesn't automatically trigger another one. I'd also recommend stopping the timer when he's already complied.
  3. Lulu

    Lulu New Member

    Thanks for the ideas, SRL. Potty time in the a.m. is also a problem for getting out of the house in time for school. I will try having one of those cooperation talks tonight about how to leave the bathroom when we have a place we need to be. The timer works so well in other situations that i was kind of thrown when it created a monster this time, but then again, I'd never tried to time him while he was in the bathroom.
  4. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    Try something like "I really want to give you plenty of time to play so how many minutes should we set this timer for?"

    Of course, my idea may totally bomb, but that's the cooperative but still shooting for the goal spirit I'd try for.